SOWK 501 – Policy Analysis Outline Page 1 of 2
SOWK 501 – POLICY ANALYSIS OUTLINE
I. Overview of the Policy under Analysis
A. What is the policy or program to be analyzed?
B. What is the nature of the problem targeted by the policy?
1. How is the problem defined?
2. Who is it a problem for?
C. How does the policy fit with other policies?
D. For programs only: what is the design of the program?
1. What are the bases of allocation?
2. What are the types of provisions?
3. What are the strategies for delivery of benefits?
4. What are the methods of financing these provisions?
II. Historical Analysis
A. What policies and programs were previously developed? How has the problem
been dealt with in the past?
B. How has the policy developed over time?
1. What people or groups initiated or promoted the policy?
2. What people or groups opposed the policy?
C. To what extent does the current policy incorporate the lessons of history?
III. Social Analysis
A. Problem description
1. How complete is our knowledge of the problem?
2. What population is affected by the problem?
b. Defining characteristics
3. What are the major social values related to the problem and what values
B. What are the goals of the policy?
1. Manifest (stated) goals
2. Latent (unstated) goals
SOWK 501 – Policy Analysis Outline Page 2 of 2
IV. Political Analysis
A. Who are the major stakeholders of this particular policy/program?
1. What is the power base of the policy / program’s supporters?
2. What is the power base of the policy / program’s opponents?
3. How well are the policy / program’s intended beneficiaries represented in the
ongoing development and implementation of the policy/program?
B. How has the policy / program been legitimized? Is this basis for legitimization
C. What are the political aspects of the implementation of the policy / program?
V. Policy / Program Evaluation
A. What are the outcomes of the policy / program in relation to the stated goals?
B. What are the unintended consequences of the policy / program?
C. Is the policy / program cost effective?
VI. Current Proposals for Policy Reform
Adapted from Popple, P. R., & Leighninger, L. (2015). The policy-based profession: An
introduction to social welfare policy analysis for social workers (6th ed.). Pearson Education, Inc.